The Media's Awkward Attempts Explaining What the Hell LulzSec Means

LulzSec's recent chaos-spree has earned it a lot of press coverage, some of which is spent painfully attempting to explain just what in Internet God's name LulzSec means. Here are a few (painfully struggling) highlights:

"The group takes the name Lulz from 4chan slang derived from LOL, shorthand for laughing out loud, tweaked to refer to laughing at others' surprise or misery."

Financial Times

On Wednesday, U.K. police charged a 19-year-old believed to have ties with both Anonymous and LulzSec, a group whose name is a blend of "lulz," or laughs, and "security."

Wall Street Journal

But what is LulzSec, and why does it matter? Their website, lulzsecurity.com, describes them as "a small team of lulzy individuals who feel the drabness of the cyber community is a burden on what matters: fun." That's what "lulz," a variant on LOL, means: It is an expression of general amusement.

Oklahoma Daily

LulzSec - whose name is a combination between "laughs" and "security" - is a splinter group of Anonymous, an older hacktivist organization that targets anything it sees as a threat to Internet freedom.

Business Inisder

"The hackers have revived Tupac Shakur at the PBS Web site, dropped in to say hello to the CIA and angered thousands of gamers by interrupting service on EVE Online, a multiplayer role-playing computer game. They also released 62,000 e-mails and passwords, all in the name of Lulz - Internet short-speak for laughter."

Washington Post

"After televising its " Frontline: Wikisecrets" documentary, the public television consortium's site, PBS.org, was hacked into and defaced by a group calling itself LulzSec — a combination of the word security and the Internet argot for laughs had at another's expense."

Los Angeles Times

"Indeed, the group's name, LulzSec—a derivative of LOL (laugh out loud) combined with security—is a strong indication that the group's motivation is to just hack for kicks and entertainment."

CNET

So yes, the etymology of this nihilistic hack-fest seems to have something to do with an exotic internet dialect, and its fascination with laughter. And misery? Or something? Can we get an Oxford PhD on the horn? Side note: when I die, I'd like to be eulogized as a man who was a "combination between 'laughs' and 'freedom.'"